An Introduction to Land Travel
Transport networks are an integral part of social infrastructure. This is both in terms of social benefits and economic value. In ancient times road travel tended to be either on foot or on a horse. This would have been for commercial, social, or military reasons. Such transport would also have been hazardous, due as much to the difficulties of the terrain as to the risk of bandits and militant tribes. As a result one of the earliest innovations in the evolution of transport networks was the construction of highways patrolled to ensure the safety of travelers. These were developed in Rome, Persia, Egypt, Albania, Russia, China, and Cambodia among other places.
Travel networks were also severely hampered by time spent in transit especially across longer distances. Horse riding would have required frequent stops to monitor the welfare of horses and to ensure their ability to complete these journeys, and multiple horses were frequently required over longer distances. Perhaps the single greatest innovation in this regard was the advent of the rail, with the earliest forms dating back to Corinth, Greece in 6th century BC. This early innovation continued to develop through to the 16th century with Germany’s use of horse-powered funiculars, and into the 19th century with the British development of steam locomotives.
The advent of bicycles and the car, also in the 19th century, were another major innovation. Through the 20th century they gradually replaced horse-drawn stagecoaches that were used alongside railways for both inter and intra-city travel. From 1913 Henry Ford’s revolutionary model T helped to ensure that the car was rapidly available to a greater portion of the public, where it would otherwise only have been affordable by the affluent. In time the car has led to the development of buses, coaches, minivans and a range of other land vehicles. These are available for ownership by individuals and businesses but they are also readily available as transport services; Operators include bus, coach, minibus, and private hire/taxi operators and the compelling forces of competition continue to make their services easily accessible.
Inevitably rail and road transportation have contributed in varying degrees to congestion and damage to transport infrastructure. They have also helped bring to the forefront of global consciousness the issues of environmental sustainability, pollution, and climate change. Nevertheless these innovations have enriched our lives. Along with improving their performance and energy efficiency the next innovation in the evolution of land transport networks must now be the development of smart mobility - the ease with which multiple modes of transport can be combined within each passenger journey. And simultaneous to smart mobility is the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service looking at the ease with which travelers plan, organize and book their journeys.
The digital age has enhanced our capacity for providing this smart mobility as a service. Its benefits are clear in that it enriches journeys that can be made shorter and environmentally sustainable, and it reduces congestion and infrastructure damage. By incorporating healthy transport modes such as cycling it also directly improves physical and mental welfare. The TraPar vision is in service to this next stage in the evolution of transport networks. Our mission is to enable efficient journeys across multiple transport modes, for the benefit of both passengers and transport service providers. And at the heart of our process is collaboration - empowering local operators with efficient transport management, and equipping their passengers with seamless travel across multiple transport modes.